The Happy Club is like a musical-comedy. Happy and The Happy Club make up "raps" spontaneously, like characters in a musical do with songs (challenge the players to create the beats and melodies). This play should be done larger than life, and over the top. Get wacky. Feel free to share Happy’s lines with members of The Happy Club. Do what works for your cast. The actor playing Mopey should have fun with the "golly-goshes"—improvise.
(all characters could be any age, gender, or grade. Have fun.)
The Happy Club (2 or more players)
Two tables, a few chairs, a knapsack, some school books, a newspaper, facial tissue.
The Happy Club was first performed at
the following schools in the spring of 2000:
Southeast Arkansas College
Marshall Fundamental, Pasadena, California
North Central High, Lebeau, Louisiana
The Happy Club was first published in 2000 as part of the collection Plays For Kids To Do: Volume 1
Happy and The Happy Club try to make Mopey into a happy person. Mopey, who already feels happy, wants just to be left alone to study. After Mopey realizes they won't go away, there is a battle of wits. Mopey eventually uses some scientific knowledge about the limited life span of the sun to win the battle. The members of The Happy Club leave the study hall very depressed. Mopey is free to study once again.
(LIGHTS UP ON A FEW LONG TABLES. HAPPY AND THE HAPPY CLUB SIT AT ONE TABLE, LAUGHING AND SMILING. ONE OF THEM IS THE BEAT MASTER, WHO ALWAYS STARTS THE BEAT. MOPEY SITS ALONE AT THE OTHER TABLE, SNEEZING, COUGHING, AND MOANING. HAPPY NOTICES. SITS NEAR MOPEY)
HAPPY: What a beautiful day. The sun is glowing like a big, bright orange. The sparrows are singing to my soul. And it just feels so good to be alive. (MOPEY, ANNOYED, SLAPS THE TABLE, AND GIVES HAPPY A NASTY LOOK) What's wrong? Life's got you down, doesn't it?
MOPEY: Leave me alone. I have a big test.
HAPPY: Yup, you've got the four B's.
MOPEY: No, I don't—what's the four B's?
HAPPY: BIG, BUMMED-out BUG in your BRAIN.
MOPEY: No, I don't have one of those—yet. Now, let me study. (SNEEZES)
HAPPY: You have a cold, I see.
MOPEY: Look, Mr. Bucket said no talking.
HAPPY: Mr. Bucket went to the bathroom, and you know him, when he goes to the bathroom, he never comes back. (TURNS TO THE HAPPY CLUB. THEY NOD IN AGREEMENT) So, tell us why you're unhappy.
MOPEY: I'm not unhappy. I just have a cold—at least I hope that's all it is. So if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to—
HAPPY: (TO THE HAPPY CLUB) Hey, don't you think this somber soul is just a little unhappy? (PAUSE) Well?
(THE BEAT MASTER STANDS, AND CLAPS HANDS IN RHYTHM. THE HAPPY CLUB JOINS IN. THEY TALK IN RHYTHM—LIKE A RAP)
HAPPY CLUB: Mr. Bucket is out of the room
time to pull out your happy broom
And sweep all those dark blues away
'cuz, baby, you're sad almost everyday
HAPPY: We all agree that you’re unhappy.
MOPEY: I'm happy and good grades make me happier. Now leave me alone.
HAPPY: We can't. Everyone has to be happy. All the time. In fact we're a club—The Happy Club—and it’s our mission to make the world a happy place. Right, Happy Club? I said right, Happy Club? (THE BEAT MASTER STRIKES UP A BEAT. THEY CLAP IN BEAT)
HAPPY CLUB: When you're frowning
and your soul is drowning
and you can't taste the French in your fry
don't be a frump, just take a jump
and fly right up to the sky
so come on baby get happy
get happy with The Happy Club
get happy with The Happy Club
HAPPY: Do the Happy Dance! (ONE OF THE HAPPY CLUB MEMBERS MOVES DOWNSTAGE AND PRETENDS TO BE SAD. THE OTHERS CONTINUE TO CLAP. THEY DANCE A CIRCLE AROUND THE SAD ONE. THEY CLOSE IN. THEN OPEN UP. THE SAD ONE JUMPS OUT OF THE GROUP HAPPIER THAN EVER. THE DANCE ENDS. THEY SIT. Playwright's note: get real wacky with this)
HAPPY: Now, how about a big smile? Come on. You can do it.
HAPPY: Come on, let that sun—that glorious, infinite sun—that's in your heart shine right through your teeth— making them into little lamps that shoot beams of light that say to each and every human being "welcome to my world can I get you something to drink?" I think it's time for you to experience your own personal Happy Dance. Oh, yes it's time. Happy Club!
(THE BEAT STARTS UP. THEY MAKE MOPEY STAND, THEN DO THE HAPPY DANCE AROUND HER. THE DANCE ENDS. MOPEY LOOKS EVEN MORE MISERABLE)
MOPEY: Well, that didn't work. (GETS UP. SITS IN CHAIR)
HAPPY: A smile would really make you feel better. Right, Happy Club?
HAPPY CLUB: Right!
(THE HAPPY CLUB SMILES WITH OUTSTRETCHED ARMS)
HAPPY: Join us. Join The Happy Club.
MOPEY: No. I just want to study. Please—
HAPPY: We're not gonna give up on you.
MOPEY: Look, I'll tell you this once, and only once—don't mess with me.
HAPPY: We're not messing with you. We're helping you. There's a reservoir of gladness inside you. We just need to pipe into it.
MOPEY: I'm going to win, you know.
HAPPY: Of course you're gonna win. There's a winner inside of everyone.
MOPEY: No, I don't think you understand. I'm going to WIN.
HAPPY: Was that a smile?
MOPEY: No. My face hurts.
HAPPY: Your face doesn't hurt.
MOPEY: It always hurts. I have some kind of facial muscular disease.
HAPPY: Well, you can still smile on the inside.
MOPEY: I can't. My stomach always hurts, too.
HAPPY: No one's stomach always hurts.
MOPEY: Mine hurts every second of every moment of every day.
HAPPY: Well, that's curable. (TO HAPPY CLUB) Isn't it my friends?
HAPPY CLUB: (THEY STAND) YES!
HAPPY: And what's gonna cure it?
HAPPY CLUB: LOVE!
HAPPY: And what do we do with love?
HAPPY CLUB: GIVE IT!
HAPPY: That's all you need—a little love.
MOPEY: (SCREAMS) Oh my gosh. Oh my golly. oh, goshgollygosh!
HAPPY: Are you okay?
MOPEY: My legs are numb.
HAPPY: Well, they're probably just asleep. Happens to me all the time in these awful chairs.
MOPEY: I just knew my legs would give out one day. Too many books in my backpack.
HAPPY: Look, you just need to get up and walk around. Come on.
MOPEY: I can't.
HAPPY: You can. (HELPS MOPEY UP. MOPEY DOESN'T MAKE IT EASY) That's it. Good. Now, just walk a little.
MOPEY: No, I can't feel my legs. I can't.
HAPPY: Just try. Please. (LETS MOPEY GO. SHE FALLS LIMPLY. PICKS MOPEY UP. SHE FALLS AGAIN) Come on. You can do it. Just put one foot in front of the other. Right, Happy Club?
HAPPY CLUB: When your legs give out
and your head's full of doubt
that you'll ever walk this way.
(THEY WALK THE SAME FUNNY WAY ACROSS THE STAGE IN RHYTHM)
just call out our name
and we'll light your flame
we've come to save the day!
(HAPPY AND THE HAPPY CLUB CHEER AND SHOUT ENCOURAGEMENT. MOPEY LOOKS VERY UNHAPPY. SHE TRIES TO STAND, BUT FALLS)
HAPPY CLUB: (DISAPPOINTED) Awwwwwww.
HAPPY: Happy Club, we'll have no more of that. Let's make this lost, tired, and beaten soul stand with our positive energy. (THEY SHOUT AND CHEER. MOPEY STANDS, AND FALLS)
HAPPY CLUB: Awwwwwwww.
HAPPY: Come on, everyone—positive energy. Positive. POSITIVE!
(THEY SHOUT AND CHEER. MOPEY STANDS, AND FALLS)
MOPEY: Oh my gosh. Oh my golly. OH, GOSHGOLLYGOSH GOLLY GOSH—GOSH!
MOPEY: I can't open my eye. It's frozen.
HAPPY: Your eye isn't frozen. Just open it.
MOPEY: No, it freezes sometimes. One time, I couldn't open it for three days. OWWWWW! (HOLDS LOWER RIGHT ABDOMEN. HER EYE REMAINS CLOSED)
HAPPY: What? What?
MOPEY: It's my appendix. I think it's going burst.
HAPPY: It's just happy bubbles. And what do happy bubbles do?
HAPPY CLUB: Pop!
HAPPY: And when do they pop?
HAPPY CLUB: In private!
HAPPY: It's time for the healing ceremony! (THEY PICK UP MOPEY, LAY HER ON THE TABLE, AND PROP HER HEAD UP ON SOME BOOKS, FACING THE AUDIENCE. HER EYE REMAINS FROZEN. THE HAPPY CLUB MOVES UPSTAGE OF MOPEY) Let's focus love energy through our hands and cure this unhappy person!
(THEY DO A LITTLE DANCE. STOP. THEY PUT THEIR ARMS STRAIGHT OUT AND POINT THEIR FINGERS STRAIGHT AT MOPEY. THEY CLOSE THEIR EYES, AND CONCENTRATE IN AN EXAGGERATED MANNER, AS IF ENERGY IS FLOWING THROUGH THEIR ARMS, AND INTO HER)
MOPEY: Doesn't matter if you cure me. It'll just be something else tomorrow. (THE HAPPY CLUB DRAW THEIR ARMS IN, THEN THRUST MORE ENERGY) And there's nothing to look forward to anyway. Even if I happen to live until I'm sixteen, all I'll be doing then is working at McDonald's. (THEY THRUST AGAIN) Let alone the fact that I have the kind of skin that mosquitoes just love and they'll probably give me at least six diseases before I'm sixty. (SLAPS BACK OF NECK) I just knew they'd finally get me at school. (THEY THRUSTS FUTILELY OVER AND OVER) And all that doesn't even matter anyway, because the sun is going to blow up. It's going to go supernova. We'll all be fried like little happy eggs in a big happy pan. It won't matter if there's French in your fry. It won't matter that there are billions of mosquitoes—at this very moment—dreaming of your tasty blood. They'll all get cooked right along with everything else.
HAPPY: (OPENS EYES) What do you mean the sun's gonna blow up?
MOPEY: I read it in the newspaper. The article said that the sun will someday just go BOOM! And they don't know when it's going to happen. (THEY OPEN THEIR EYES AND LOWER THEIR ARMS, OBVIOUSLY WORRIED ABOUT THE SUN EXPLODING)
HAPPY: That's not gonna happen. No way.
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